10 Reasons Why Guppies Make Good Pets
It’s no secret that keeping a pet is a great way to relieve stress and add some additional joy to your life. Maybe you’re thinking about keeping guppy fish but aren’t sure if you should take the plunge. Well, in my opinion, guppies make amazing pets for multiple reasons.
They’re great for all age categories, and they have many unique perks compared to other more “mainstream” pets. Whether you’re a busy person who’s always away from home or a senior with lots of time on your hands, a guppy aquarium is a perfect match for any lifestyle. Here are just ten of the reasons why guppies make good pets for just about anyone.
1. Guppies Are Affordable
You don’t have to spend a fortune to keep a pet, and guppies are proof of that. These little fish are super cheap and plentiful. You can find regular guppies in almost any pet store, with prices ranging from 1 to 3 bucks. More exotic-looking guppies cost upwards of $30, which is still a lot cheaper than other pets.
Even better, you can also find affordable aquarium kits to get you started on the aquarium hobby. Once you finish setting up the aquarium, you won’t be spending that much money on maintenance and food. Guppies have big appetites, but they’re not fussy eaters. Their small size more than compensates for their eating.
2. Guppies Are Easy to Care For
Not only are they cheap to care for, but the entire process is also a breeze. Think about it. Fish, in general, require way less attention than other pets. You won’t have to walk your guppies out on a leash anytime soon. So, what exactly should you keep in mind when caring for guppies?
Simply put, there are just three things you have to do actively:
- Feed your guppies every 1-2 days.
- Perform a weekly water change, replacing around 30% of the old water with fresh, dechlorinated water.
- Clean the aquarium and the filter once or twice per month.
Apart from these things, most of a guppy’s needs only require a passive time investment. For example, guppies need at least 1-3 gallons of water each. Just choosing a suitable tank for the number of guppies you want is enough to satisfy this need.
Water filtration and heating are also easy to manage. Installing a water heater and a filter takes little time, and you can just let them do their job. These gadgets are low-noise, and they consume little energy. Water heaters in particular don’t run continuously, but only when the sensor detects a drop in water temperature.
3. Guppies Don’t Require Lots of Space
As I’ve already stated, guppies need around 1-3 gallons of water each. They’re small fish, and they typically grow no larger than 1.5 inches in length. So, with just a small 5-gallon tank, you can house around 3 guppies. That’s great news. This means you don’t need a huge aquarium to keep multiple guppies.
I want to stress this advantage because I always advise people to keep at least two guppies in a tank. Guppies are social fish, and they need constant interaction. Luckily, you can keep multiple guppies even in small-sized aquariums. Installing a good water filter and adding live plants to the aquarium will allow you to keep even more guppies. But more space is always better.
4. Guppies Are Highly Adaptable
Guppies are among the least fussy fish that I know of. They’ll eat almost anything, they can survive unattended for extended periods, and they can adapt to multiple ranges of water parameters. Of course, that’s not to say that guppies don’t have their ideal requirements.
But these ideal requirements are easy to meet. Depending on where you live, tap water might be just fine when it comes to pH, hardness, and nitrate levels. Guppies will thrive with the following ranges of water parameters:
- Slightly acidic to slightly alkaline water, with a pH ranging from 6.8-7.8
- Moderately hard water, with a dGH ranging from 8-12
- A water temperature ranging from 72-82 °F
- A maximum of 10 ppm nitrates, and 0 ppm nitrites and ammonia
5. Guppies Have Long Lifespans
Okay, this might be a little subjective. It depends on what you look for in a pet. Guppies don’t live as long as dogs, cats, tortoises, or even goldfish. But when cared for properly and fed a healthy diet, they can still reach an impressive lifespan of 3-5 years. That’s actually longer than the lifespan of a hamster, and many other small rodents kept as pets. And if you’ve ever kept pet insects, guppies’ lifespans must be quite impressive in comparison.
Besides proper care and hygiene, you can also extend your guppies lifespan in one major additional way. Most guppies live for 1-2 years, and females have shorter lifespans on average. The stress caused by breeding greatly reduces guppies’ lifespans. By preventing breeding between your guppies, you can ensure they will live longer, healthier lives.
6. Guppies Look Awesome
Guppies never fail to impress with their colorful tails and sleek bodies. These tiny fish come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. In fact, there are around 276 varieties of guppy fish to choose from, each one with its own unique appearance and characteristics.
There are lots of different tail shapes of varying lengths and widths. Guppies can have wide tail shapes such as the triangle tail, the fan tail, the veil tail, or the half-moon tail. Then, there are guppies with narrow and pointy tail shapes. Such shapes include the spear tail and the needle tail. Asymmetrical tails are also common, and they include the bottom sword tail and the top sword tail.
Guppies also come in basically every color and combination of colors you can imagine. There are also completely black guppies, and even albino guppies as well. Some of the many tail patterns seen in guppies include leopard, cobra, snakeskin, tuxedo, and mosaic. It’s worth noting, however, that this wide variety of colors and patterns is specific to male guppies, being a characteristic of sexual dimorphism.
7. Guppies Are Fun to Watch
Guppies have lively personalities. They always find ways to entertain themselves, and they’re constantly moving around. It’s mesmerizing to see these colorful fish in the water. Whether they’re slowly drifting around or racing with quick bursts of energy, they always catch my eye.
It’s fun to watch them rushing around to catch food. Speaking of catching, guppies rarely chase or bully each other. If you see one or more guppies chasing other fish, it’s likely because they’re trying to mate with a female. This is quite a common occurrence in a tank with male and female guppy fish.
8. Guppies Are Non-Aggressive
As I’ve already stated, guppies don’t bully other fish. They’re actually friendly and chill. Well, with a few sidenotes. Guppies are big eaters, and they’ll just inhale anything small enough to fit into their mouths. This includes other smaller fish as well, including their own fry.
Guppies are also prolific breeders. Males will chase multiple females when trying to mate, which could be basically anytime. All this being said, you can safely house guppies together with other peaceful fish like platies and mollies. Just make sure to separate the females and smaller fish from the main tank.
9. Guppies Breed Like Rabbits
Or maybe rabbits breed like guppies? Either way, the point is that guppies are infamous for breeding a lot. If you keep male and female guppies in the same aquarium, you’re guaranteed to wake up with multiple guppy babies. In case you’re interested in breeding guppies for whatever reason, this is excellent news.
You don’t need to make any extra preparations. As long as the water parameters are good enough for your adult guppies to live comfortably, that’s enough. They’ll find a way to do the deed, and you’ll have tens of guppy fry in no time. In fact, a female guppy can give birth to 30-60 fry every month until the ripe age of 2 years old. I don’t even have to do the math to figure out that’s a lot of guppies.
10. Guppies Are as Resilient as Cactuses
Cactuses (or “cacti” for the language purists out there) can go weeks without water. Similarly, guppies can survive for up to 3 weeks without food. Now, I’m not suggesting feeding your guppies only twice a month. But this goes to show that guppies are a low-maintenance pet for busy people.
If you’ve got a job away from home, or have to travel regularly, you don’t have to worry about your pet fish all the time. You only have to do a little planning ahead to prepare your aquarium for vacation. As long as you clean the aquarium and perform regular water changes, your guppies will be just fine while you’re away.
There you have it! These were just some of the most common concerns and questions people have about a potential pet. If you want a quiet, peaceful, low-cost, and low-maintenance pet, guppies are the perfect match for you!
Of course, we’ve just scratched the surface here. There are plenty of good reasons to keep guppies. Each person has their own standards for what a good pet must entail. I hope this article has helped you come closer to choosing your ideal pet.